Tavel, Southern Rhone

Today we’ll be travelling to a very small yet influential appellation in France’s Southern Rhone region. Tavel is located just north of regional capital Avignon, and is surrounded almost entirely by regions that produce nothing but heavy, rich red wines from the classic GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre) blend all along the Rhone as it meanders south to…

Corbieres, France

So first of all, this article marks my 100th Friday Focus! Hard to believe this has been running for over 2 years now! Again my thanks to all of you who read my piece which would have petered out into obscurity without your support and kind words. But enough of that and onto the important thing-…

Algarve, Portugal

Today, I thought it pertinent to write about a region known for sun, sand and sea as well as much as vines- an ideal summer holiday destination! The wine region of Algarve is driven almost entirely by tourism, which makes it very unique- so let’s get into things! First up, location; the Algarve is the entire…

Ahr, Germany

Today I will be digging into one of the northern-most vineyards in the world, Germany’s Ahr region. At this time of the year in this chilly region, the snows should well and truly be falling in the lead-up to Christmas- hopefully as you read this you can visualise yourself there as we swelter away in the…

Lodi, California

Now when I ask you to think of the wines of California, it would be no shock if your mind goes directly to the elegant, oaky wines of the Napa Valley or the powerful yet classy Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of the Sonoma Coast, however the reality is that these oft-romanticised regions only produce a…

Navarra, Spain

In the very north-east of Spain, on the outskirts of the city of Pamplona- most famous for the yearly near-suicidal tradition of running with huge horned animals- is an oft-overlooked wine region with a long, interesting history, unique varieties and a diverse set of climates and soils. Today we’ll be delving into the region of…

Clare Valley

Now many of you have probably already been to the Clare, but as a quick summary, the Clare valley is located 130km due north of Adelaide, and is a long, thin region running north-south for about 20km. It has a climate classified as moderate-continental, meaning that in the growing season, it has long, warm summer…

Barolo Part 2

So, last time in Part 1 we got into the history and geology of Barolo, and this time we’ll finish the region off by going into the details of the fickle yet ultimately rewarding Nebbiolo variety and the evolution of the style of Barolo over the last century, which includes the battle between ‘traditionalist’ and ‘modernist’ factions!…

Barolo Part 1

One of Italy’s most prestigious wine regions, often referred to as “the Burgundy of Italy”, the region of Barolo will take me a few weeks to do properly. So this time I’ll go into the history of what makes this regions so special as well as the terrior of this appellation, made up of its specific soils, location…

Pais Nantais, Loire Valley

So where on earth is the Pais Nantais you ask? Well, it is the large appellation surrounding the city of Nantes in the very west of the Loire Valley wine region. This rather large appellation begins at the shores of the Bay of Biscay and follows the Loire River about 90km east to the start…